The rap field is rather weak this year; mostly due to the fact that some of the main contenders (Beyonce/Jay-Z, Iggy Azalea, Chris Brown) were relegated to either the Pop or R&B fields. And this move make the predictions even harder. There are, however, some major competitors still in the running. And, here are the predictions:
Best Rap Performance
- Eminem — Rap God
- Wiz Khalifa — We Dem Boyz
- Lil Wayne ft. Drake — Believe Me
- Childish Gambino — 3005
- Nicki Minaj — Anaconda
13-time GRAMMY winner, Eminem is the top contender in this category for his mind-blowing tune “Rap God”as he has virtually no competition. His closest rival may be pothead rapper, Wiz Khalifa (who’s been nominated 5 times in the last three years) for “We Dem Boyz” one of the best-selling rap songs of the year. Other major contenders include 4-time winner, Lil Wayne and 1-time winner, Drake who joined forces for another top-seller, “Believe Me”. Looking forward his first ever GRAMMY nomination is Californian rapper, Childish Gambino for his outer-space track “3005”.
And if Academy voters feel nostalgic; the Rap Performance category might feature a female representative thanks to Nicki Minaj and her controversial hit, “Anaconda” which samples the classic “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-lot, winner of the Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1993 GRAMMY Awards.
Other notable submissions include: Drake for “0 to 100/The Catch-Up”; Kendrick Lamar for “i”; Schoolboy Q ft. Kendrick Lamar for “Collard Greens”; Jeezy ft. Jay-Z for “Seen It All”; T.I. ft Iggy Azalea for “No Mediocre”.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
- Eminem ft. Rihanna — The Monster
- Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson — Bound 2
- Schoolboy Q ft. BJ the Chicago Kid — Studio
- Pusha-T ft. Chris Brown — Sweet Serenade
- DJ Khaled ft. Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Rick Ross & French Montana — They Don’t Love You No More
The Rap/Sung Collaboration category is constantly changing its rules and therefore it is hard to predict. But, it usually features the biggest names. And if there’s a shoo-in, it is definitely Eminem featuring 6-time winner (including three in this category), Rihanna for “The Monster”. The pair was already nominated in 2011 for their hit “Love the Way You Lie” (which they lose to an even bigger hit, “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys). Apart from them, the other definite nominees are 21-time winner, Kanye West (whose hate towards the GRAMMYs are not as big as the love the rap voters have for him) for his love tune “Bound 2” with the legendary R&B singer, Charlie Wilson.
The rest of the contenders are just fillers, and they include: Breakthrough rapper, Schoolboy Q for his song “Studio” featuring R&B singer, BJ the Chicago Kid; former nominee, Pusha-T alongside GRAMMY winner, Chris Brown for “Sweet Serenade”; and the largest collaboration of rappers of the year including Jay-Z —who has received this award a total of seven times (more than any other artist), 2012 nominees DJ Khaled and Rick Ross, Atlanta-based rapper Meek Mill, and Moroccan rapper French Montana for the song “They Don’t Love You No More”.
Other notable submissions include: Angel Haze ft. Sia for “Battle Cry”; T.I. ft Skylar Grey for “New National Anthem”; Big Sean ft. Miguel for “Ashley”; The Roots ft. Modesty Lycan & Greg Porn for “When the People Cheer”; Wiz Khalifa ft. Ty Dollar $ing and Snoop Dogg for “You and Your Friends”.
Best Rap Song
- Rap God by Dania Birks, Juana Burns, Douglas Davis, Matthew Delgiorno, Stephen Hacker, Marshall Matthers, Kim Nazel, Fatima Shaheed (Eminem)
- Believe Me by Dwayne Carter, Aubrey Graham, Matthew Samuels (Lil Wayne ft. Drake)
- Bound 2 by Mike Dean, Malik Jones, Ronnie Self, John Stephens, Kanye West, Charlie Wilson, Cydel Young (Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson)
- Move that Dope by Terrence Thornton, Nayvadus Wilburn, Pharrell Williams (Future ft. Pharrell Williams, Pusha-T & Casino)
- i by Kendrick Lamar and the Isley Brothers (Kendrick Lamar)
The Rap Song category usually features nominees from both the Rap Performance and Rap/Sung Collaboration categories. But there are always exceptions. Among those predicted in the previous categories that may also make it for the songwriters award are: “Rap God”, performed by Eminem —who won this award when it was first introduced in 2004 for his Oscar-winning, “Lose Yourself”; Believe Me performed by Drake and Lil Wayne
The other songs that could make the cut include: “Move that Dope”, written and performed by former winner, Pharrell Williams and rappers Pusha-T, Casino & Future; and “i” by Kendrick Lamar which samples the emblematic funky tune “That Lady” by the Isley Brothers.
Other notable submissions include: “Objects in the Mirror” by Mac Miller; “New National Anthem” by T.I. & Skylar Grey; “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj; “The Devil is a Lie” by Rick Ross & Jay-Z; “They Don’t Love You No More” by DJ Khaled ft. Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Rick Ross & French Montana.
Best Rap Album
- Eminem — The Marshall Mathers LP 2
- The Roots — …And then You Shoot Your Cousin
- Schoolboy Q — Oxymoron
- Childish Gambino — Because the Internet
- Iggy Azalea — The New Classic
All of Eminem’s album The Real Slim Shady in 2000 have been nominated for Best Rap Album and there is no reason why the best-seller and critically-acclaimed, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 will be snubbed, as it is also in the running for Album of the Year. The other likely contender are the hip-hop ensemble, The Roots who have been nominated for their last two albums and are now contending for …And then You Shoot Your Cousin, a concept album about violence within the African-American community.
The rest of the line-up could be completed by first-timers including: Schoolboy Q for his number-one album, Oxymoron; psychedelic hip-hop singer, Childish Gambino for his critically-acclaimed, Because the Internet; and breakthrough female rapper, Iggy Azalea for her debut record, The New Classic.
Other notable submissions include: Wiz Khalifa for Blacc Hollywood; Lecrae for Anomaly; Common for Nobody’s Smiling; Future for Honest; Pusha-T for My Name Is My Name.